tom headshotTom Heflin of Rockford is our June Artist of The Month. Hieflin began his career as an artist in the spring of 1970. He often opens his home to visitors who can come and view his latest work.

How long have you been an artist or when did you start?

With a wife and five children I was working in a sign company and doing my art at night and weekends waiting for the proper time when I could launch my career as a fine artist. It took 16 long years but I reached a point when I was 33 years old and decided it was now or never. I found an abandoned farm house on a dead end road 10 miles from the little city of Freeport, Illinois. The owner gave me permission to use it and wouldn’t charge me rent because it had no indoor plumbing and only a kitchen wood stove for heat. So with my hopes and dreams I moved into this old haunted place and started my career as an artist in the spring of 1970.

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­IllinoisIllinois is one of the most fun states in the nation according to new rankings released by the consumer finance site WalletHub.

Illinois checked in at number 11 on the site’s Most Fun States in America list, which ranks states according to more than two dozen metrics of fun.

“There are certain states where fun is not just an option but also a way of life,” the site said. “These states offer such a variety of activities that everyone will be able to find something that excites them.”

Beyond ranking 11th overall, the Land of Lincoln was rated 12th in recreation and entertainment and 3rd when it comes to nightlife.

It also ranked 5th among states with the most restaurants per capita, 3rd for most performing arts theaters per capita and 5th in terms of state and local spending on parks and recreation per capita.

Among Midwest states, Illinois ranked second behind only Minnesota.

For full rankings and more information on the methodology by which the states were rated click here.

artistAdrienne Pike Adelphia is our May Artist of the Month from Ottawa. She is inspired by artist like Homer Winslow, Georgia O’Keefe and Andy Evenson.

How long have you been an artist or when did you start?

I’ve been an artist all of my life. I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember.

Was there a single incident or moment when you realized this was your passion and if so, would you tell us about it?

I’m not sure there that there was a specific moment. But, I do remember an assignment in first or second grade. We had to cut out a little figure and dress it as the profession we wanted to go into. My figure had a paint smock and a palette…

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1 Teresa headshot

Teresa Cash is the April Artist of the Month. She is from Naperville, and a proud creative Late Bloomer.

How long have you been an artist or when did you start?

It was a cold February day in 2011, a pivotal time, I remember it vividly. I had just celebrated my 58th birthday and I began to question if there was more to life than what I was experiencing. My life was good, yet I felt there was more. Sitting in silence with my heart wide open, I beckoned to be shown what I was meant to do. There became this "knowing" that I was meant to be creative. I was to be an artist.

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Linda HeadshotLinda Webb is the March Artist of the Month from Peoria. Webb has years of professional art experince and her work has been featured in a few museums throughout the State of Illinois.

 How long have you been an artist or when did you start?

I’ve loved art for as long as I can remember. For over 20 years I’ve done art and design-related work professionally. I started as a graphic designer. As I gained experience, I transitioned to a full-time freelance illustrator and mosaic artist. 


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